n Journal of Public Administration - Analysing performance of services through restructuring of state owned enterprises in Uganda

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The post-independence Africa adopted a command and control economy with state ownership seen as an essential instrument for achieving economic independence and planned development. The belief that a core category of essential goods and services, such as electricity, water, telecommunications, transport, education, should be served by state either for security reasons or purposes of economic redistribution strongly influenced this view. State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) were seen as vehicle to promote economic development, reduce mass unemployment and / or ensure national control over the overall direction of the economy (Khan, 2005: 5). With time, the SOEs developed an image of mismanagement and further faced the allegations of maladministration, lack of efficiency, poor performance and inadequate service delivery. Ultimately, most of them faced financial deficits and hampered the economy at the macro level. Consequently, many governments adopted divesture programmes, with privatisation as a panacea advocated through the 1980s and 1990s with the support and at times inducement of multilateral financial institutions. SOEs were now subject to competition with their previously monopolistic sectors being opened up to new competitors.

This paper explores various models of divesture used in Uganda by examining SOEs involved in delivery of education, water, electricity and telecommunications services previously operating in a monopolistic environment before the adoption of reforms. The researchers recommend major indicators such as turnover, percentage of government funding, product innovation, number of industry players and sustainability of the institution in order to improve the situation. The paper aims to contribute and enrich knowledge in the area of policy reform and public policy.

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